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The Auckland City Mission Calls For Improved Nutrition

The Auckland City Mission is working hard to ensure it is providing its ever-increasing foodbank client base with the best possible nutrition and believes this is a social issue for all New Zealanders to rally behind.

The Mission has long been committed to offering a balanced food parcel but after recent reviews, realised there was room for improvement.

“Although we have always provided a range of grocery items, we realised recently that we need to significantly increase the protein (meat and dairy) in our food parcels,” says Ms Robinson.

For example, she says, the Auckland City Mission will need to increase its milk offering from one litre of milk in a family box to six litres, and upgrade cheese to a one kilogram block to ensure that people who turn to the Misison as they have no other way of providing sufficient food for themselves and their families, have adequate nutritional sources.

The Mission has also introduced a system called ‘more choice’ where people can indicate any items they particularly might need to help improve their family’s nutritional options.

“But all this is, of course, expensive, so we are asking for help during our Winter Fundraising Appeal which begins next week,” says Ms Robinson who notes that the Mission spends significant amounts of money on food despite items being donated by the public throughout the year.

And the Mission has more sobering statistics to release. Demand for food parcels has more than doubled since before COVID-19.

In the past 12 months the Mission has distributed almost 50 thousand boxes of food, compared to 23 thousand in the year before COVID-19 struck. Those 48 thousand parcels went to 17 thousand different families in Auckland.

Helen Robinson says the fact that more half of the people needing a Mission food parcel in the past year were first time clients "shows that the need out in the community is still growing and we must continue to work to meet that need.”

The Auckland City Mission Winter Appeal runs from 5 July.

© Scoop Media

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